April 9 – Titus 3:4-7
Main focus: The good news of the gospel on Resurrection Sunday—the Triune God has saved us.
Coming out of Easter weekend, we close out our study of the Scriptures in light of the Trinity. We’ve read through passages that highlight the triune nature of God, as well as the characteristics unique to the individual persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If you’re a seasoned church-goer, you may recall Easter services focussing on Christ’s death and resurrection and the genuine outrageousness of it. But this week, we’re getting a broad view of the eternal implications of Christ’s sacrifice and the working of the Father and Holy Spirit in our lives before and beyond the cross.
This week we’re in Titus 3, ending with the same theme we began: All of God for all of us. This book is a letter written by Paul to his “true child in a common faith,” Titus. Titus was a church leader and helper of Paul. Paul wrote this letter to him to give guidance and aid in leading a church and group of elders.
This week’s passage lands us in the middle of Paul’s letter. Paul reminds Titus that our sinfulness should inform how we perceive God’s love for us. Even though we continually reject God in our sins, he still loves us. This passage provides us with a core doctrine and belief in the church: salvation by grace through faith, not by works. Paul writes this to the church in Ephesus as well, writing that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
If we pair this passage in Ephesians with today’s Scripture in Titus 3, we see the parallel of salvation coming by God’s hand of mercy and grace, not anything we can or can’t do. Paul writes this to Titus, “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Tt. 3:5). This is the beauty of God’s love for us: salvation and rescue come by the hand of God, not anything by our power or actions.
Going even further, he says that when we were foolish and disobedient, God saved us “according to his own mercy” through the appearance of our Savior (v5). Paul displays this, reminding us of the cohesion of the Trinity. It’s by God, in his grace and goodness, that a Savior was sent, by the working of the Holy Spirit that we were regenerated and renewed in him, and by Christ that these things came to pass for and upon us. The Triune God is responsible for the redemption of man, not just one person of the Trinity.
As we get into discussion, we’ll talk about Paul’s emphasis on the working of the Trinity in man’s redemption. In reading this passage, we see that the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all play a role in salvation, justification, and regeneration before God. Christ paid the price, and the Trinity is actively working in God’s children’s lives to make them more holy and sanctified. How beautiful is it that we serve a God who not only saves us, but continually works in and through us to look more like him?
• Before we get started, what was something significant about your Easter this year?
• Could someone read Titus 3:4-7 for us?
• What stood out to you from this passage?
• What do you think Paul wants us to understand about the roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in salvation?
• Look at verse 5—how have you experienced the washing and renewal of the Spirit in your life?
• Still in verse 5, when are you most prone to doubting or trying to earn God’s mercy?
• Take a look at verse 8. Why do you think the message of salvation leads us to do good works?